New leadership for Lewis, Clark Trail foundationA nonprofit foundation that seeks to preserve the Lewis and Clark Trail and its stories has new leadership after a failed effort to move the foundation's main office out of Montana.
GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) — A nonprofit foundation that seeks to preserve the Lewis and Clark Trail and its stories has new leadership after a failed effort to move the foundation's main office out of Montana.
Four members of the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation's board of directors resigned effective at the end of September, including board president Stephenie Ambrose Tubbs of Helena. Tubbs is the daughter of the late Stephen Ambrose, who wrote the book “Undaunted Courage” about the expedition.
Lewis and Clark expert Don Peterson of Great Falls said Tuesday he's received assurances that the foundation's office will stay in Great Falls through 2017.
The effort to move the office failed this summer during the group's meeting in Omaha, Neb., despite the offer of a large grant for the organization if it moved the office to a larger city with better airline connections.
Also resigning were vice president Richard Prestholdt of Bridgewater, N.J.; president-elect Bryant Boswell of Jackson, Miss.; and James Mallory, immediate past president from Lexington, Ky., Peterson told the Great Falls Tribune.
“I think a lot of people just breathed a sigh of relief” at the resignations, said Great Falls City Commissioner Bill Bronson, who attended the Omaha conference.
Great Falls-area residents spent $290,000 in 2007 to remodel the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Great Falls to make room for the heritage foundation's library and national office, which committed to staying in Great Falls for 10 years.
“It just wasn't right for (the executive committee) to walk away from it,” Bronson said.
Peterson said treasurer Jerry Robertson of Sellersburg, Ind., also announced his resignation at the Omaha conference, but his departure was not related to the controversy surrounding the location of the heritage foundation's national office.
The foundation's new president is BYU history professor Jay Buckley, while Bob Gatten of Greensboro, N.C., is the new president-elect, Peterson said.
Peterson said he hopes people can move past the recent controversy and get back to concentrating on the expedition.
“I want to see people really get out, and enjoy and have some fun with Lewis and Clark,” Peterson said.